Day 68

Saturday 16th June

i was woken by the sound of other hikers getting up and leaving. I lay awake trying to decide what to do. should i chill or hike out.
Eventually I got up poured myself some coffee then began to pack . well at least I would be ready..
Adam the owner was busy buzzing about when I asked hi. if he had a pc or laptop that I could use. He pointed to a row of tablets that I haven’t noticed.
brilliant I said  and went and grabbed the sUSB sticks and cables pack.
I backed my phone up to the tablet then copied that to the sticks It took 2 to hold all of  the data.
I was really pleased as I had been trying to do this for ages.
I was just finishing off when Zippy arrived as she had sent packages to this hostel.
We chatted while she waited for Adam to return.
When Adam returned he  asked “Who is waiting to go back to the trail?”
“Me” I said
“5 minutes”, he replied
I threw the rest of my stuff into my pack, retrived my waterbladder from the fridge and I was ready. Batty and Vauwk were also going back.
It was a short drive back to the trail head and another lovely day .it was late 10.30 and the sun was beaming down as I hoisted up  my pack . As i set off up the trail, Imeaditly every thing began to hurt as my body realised we were hiking again.!
Today I was entering the Shenandoah Mountains which are suposeed to be stunning . After a short hike I came to the registration booth, There is no charge but you need to fill in a permit and carry a copy.
Once done I posted a copy into the boxand set off.
The morning was mainly up but it was nice to see so many clean smelling people coming the other way. I pushed on for several hours , before the trail began to head  steeply down. I  actually passed several day hikers as I began my decent.
The bottom opened up into a meadow where I needed to cross the road. As I got closer I noticed several other hikers standing by a car. Whoop trail magic . I was offered a cold beer , peach and strawberries
Thank you so much . the early beer was just perfect. I stood and chatted for several minutes before moving on .

As I had just come down it was time to climb back up .It was getting warmer and the first part had no shade. Bloody hell I muttered as the trail became steep. but at last it evened out as I crested the top. Up here were several communication masts ..I would have stopped and checked mail but I wanted to push as it would be a short day. after this climb the trail meandered down a d through several meadows. I crossed several car parks and met the ranger. He didn’t ask for permit a he was busy with some farmers .

I pushed on and one until I came across xxx xxx sitting having lunch . he was sat by the shelter sign but it was .3 so a round trip of .6 too far.

I said I have 30 mins to go before I stop which should correspond to a spring and water.

I pushed on through the forest untill i exited into a bare patch then I heard the crackle of electric as standing high above me stood a pylon. I started at the dramatic view before me before moving on .

At the spring I filled up both bottles as the next water was far and as it was now 2pm I had no chance of making the next shelter. I then had my lunch I almost devoured my apple, but I wanted to save that for dinner.

okay 2.30 12 miles to the next shelter @ 2 miles hour that will be 8 and that’s if the trail is flat. I laughed to myself.

Okay I will walk to 5 and then look to camp. happy with this decision I pushed on until I ran I to Peach, Mousetrap and Guinness. They were slackpacking so we’re heading south. I don’t agree with slackpacking so I will say nothing.

Hi guys. I was hoping that I would run into you guys much later in the day.

Snail make sure you have plenty of water.

Yrs I’m full I said.

What are your plans Guiness asked.

Well I wanted to get to the secound shelter. But I started late. it’s almost 3pm now so maybe 14 ish .

Okay Snail see you up the trail

I have to admit the trail was very good occasionally I hiked in burning sun but mainly in shade .

Again I exited onto a road. on the other side was a viewing area so I wandered over. just over the wall a dozen or so butterflies were busy flitting around. I stood and watched them so several minutes when a large pickup stopped and a couple got out .

What are you watching

THESE butterflies. Marriott

And are you kiwis I asked.

Indeed they were. and over here on holiday. we chatted for a while then another car pulled up.

I chatted to this couple too he had competed the AT so on cue asked if I needed a cold drink.

I’d love one .he handed we a sprite and a bottle of flavoured water that tasted better than the Sprite.

so soon emptitied both before giving back the empties.

Then it was back to the trail

and 2 lots of trail magic today .

I had a grin on my face as I plodded on . The time was getting later but the miles seemed slow today . as I pushed on I began to notice that the blueberries are beginning to appear. won’t be long.

5pm came and went okay I will hike on until 6 pm .

It was still a lovely evening but I didn’t want to hike late.

At last a flat spot . that will do nicely .

J put up my food bag then cooked tea. st 7.40 I got into my tent . I watched many other people come by.

Then it got tel real noisy I looked out of my tent and there were 3 deer. I filled for a while

now zzzx

Miles 16.4 walked


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